In Ohio, there are more women between the ages of 20 and 64 participating in the workforce than there are men doing so. And recently, SmartAsset found that Ohio’s capital, Columbus, is one of the best cities for women in tech. With those facts in mind, we delved into the data to find the best cities for working women in Ohio across all fields.
Check out SmartAsset’s top financial advisor firms in Ohio.
In order to find the best cities in Ohio for working women, we looked at data on women’s earnings, the unemployment rate for women, women’s labor force participation rate, gross median rent and gross median rent as a percentage of women’s earnings. For more on our data and how we put it together, see the data and methodology section below.
- Cleveland suburbs – Nine out of our top 10 best cities for working women in Ohio are suburbs, and six are Cleveland suburbs. Interestingly, while Cleveland suburbs dominate our top 10, Cleveland itself ranks 42nd in our study of the best places for working women in Ohio.
- Ohio pay gap – The pay gap in Ohio is worse than the national average. According to 2015 Census Bureau data, women earn 72% of what men earn in the U.S. For Ohio that figure is worse, sitting at 66% on average. And in some Ohio cities the situation is even more dire. Take Dublin for example, on average women there only earn half of what men do.
- Large variance in incomes – There is a big difference between what women earn from one city to another in Ohio. For example women in Rocky River earn almost $42,000 on average, which is over twice as much as women’s median income in Dayton.
1. Rocky River, Ohio
This suburb of Cleveland has a population of about 20,000, a figure which has remained unchanged since the 1970s. Over 80% of women between the ages of 20 and 64 in Rocky River participate in the labor force and only 3.8% of women are unemployed. For both those metrics, Rocky River ranks in the top 10.
Women here are also some of the highest earners. The median earnings for women ages 16 and over who work is $41,904, the third-highest in the study. But Rocky River’s most impressive score comes in median housing cost as a percent of a women’s income. The average woman would need to spend just under 23% of her monthly income on the average housing.
2. Lakewood, Ohio
The women of Lakewood earn less than their neighbors in Rocky River ($31,348 on average), but the pay gap in Lakewood is smaller. On average women earn 77.4% of what men earn in Lakewood compared to 72.5% for the same stat in Rocky River.
Lakewood is also home to a large number of hardworking women. Just under 80% of women in Lakewood, who are between the ages of 20 and 64, participate in the labor force. This compares favorably to Cleveland, for example, where only 68% of working age women are in the labor force.
3. South Euclid, Ohio
Women and men in South Euclid are paid almost exactly the same, with women’s earnings equaling 95.5% of men’s earnings. Only one other Ohio city – Trotwood – can beat that score. Plus, just under 85% of women in South Euclid ages 20 to 64 participate in the labor force, a stat which no city in Ohio beats.
The biggest concern for South Euclid residents is the housing cost. Median gross rent is $960 per month or 32.7% of a women’s earnings. For both of those metrics, South Euclid has the worst scores in the top 10.
4. Mentor, Ohio
Mentor is another suburb of Cleveland. There is not much separating Mentor in fourth place from Hilliard in 10th place, only 2 points on our index. What gives Mentor the edge is its low unemployment rate. Only 3.8% of women here are out of work but looking for employment. About 80% of working age women in Mentor participate in the labor force, the eighth-best score in the state.
5. (tie) Kettering, Ohio
Claiming the fifth spot is Kettering, the first city that’s not within the Cleveland area on our list. Kettering is a suburb of Dayton with a population of about 55,000, making it a fairly large suburb. Kettering has solid scores across the board, scoring no worst than 48th in any metric.
The city’s most impressive score comes in housing cost as a percent of women’s earnings. To pay for median housing in the area, a woman who earns the area’s median income would need to put 28.7% of her income toward housing. That’s below the 30% that is recommended by most financial experts.
5. (tie) Grove City, Ohio
Tied with Kettering for fifth is Grove City. Women of Grove City earn $35,934 per year on average which is the 17th-highest income in the study. However they only earn 71.8% of what men in the area make on average, which doesn’t rank as well. Grove City also has the third-lowest unemployment rate for women in the top 10, only 3.6% of women in the area who are looking for work are unemployed.
7. Boardman, Ohio
Just south of Youngstown is Boardman, a city that takes seventh place. Boardman would be a great option for a working woman looking to keep housing costs low. Median gross rent in this city is only $620, the lowest in the top 10. Only 28.5% of the average woman’s earnings would need to go to rent. For both those metrics, Boardman ranks in the top 10 in the state. However, in general, women are not very well compensated here. Women of Boardman take home only $26,068 per year, which is 64% of what men make.
8. Euclid, Ohio
Just north of South Euclid, in the suburb ring of Cleveland, is Euclid, our 8th-best city for working women in Ohio. Women and men in Euclid are paid similar amounts, with women making 88.1% of what men make. The concern for people in the area is that neither group makes that much money. Women make around $28,868 on average, the second-lowest in the top 10. However the vast majority of women in Euclid (78%) participate in the workforce.
9. Reynoldsburg, Ohio
Reynoldsburg is a suburb of Columbus. Women in Reynoldsburg work hard and earn a decent amount. The median annual income for working women is $31,704 and only 3.3% of women are unemployed. Women here also earn 85% of what men do, on average. However, much of that time spent working goes toward meeting housing costs. Median gross rent in the area is $906 or 34% of the average woman’s earnings.
10. Hilliard, Ohio
Women from the Hilliard area earn more than most other women in Ohio. The average annual earnings for a woman in Hilliard is $38,319, and thanks to the relatively low income tax in Ohio, they likely keep a chunk of it. However, a large portion of whatever the taxman doesn’t take goes to landlords. The median gross rent in Hilliard is $962 per month. If you’re looking to avoid those rent costs and invest in a house, mortgage rates in Ohio are just above the 4% mark.
Data and Methodology
In order to find the best cities for working women in Ohio, we looked at data on 88 different cities, where the population was greater than 20,000, across six different metrics. Specifically we looked at:
- Women’s median earnings. This is the median earnings for women over the age of 15. Data comes from the Census Bureau’s 2015 5-Year American Community Survey.
- Pay gap. This is women’s median earnings as a percent of men’s median annual earnings. Data comes from the Census Bureau’s 2015 5-Year American Community Survey.
- Women’s unemployment rate. Data comes from the Census Bureau’s 2015 5-Year American Community Survey.
- Women’s labor force participation rate. Data comes from the Census Bureau’s 2015 5-Year American Community Survey.
- Gross median rent. Data comes from the Census Bureau’s 2015 5-Year American Community Survey.
- Gross median rent as a percent of women’s earnings. Data comes from the Census Bureau’s 2015 5-Year American Community Survey.
Census data is based on where people reside. So, when we say the unemployment rate in Rocky River is 3.8% that means that 3.8% of people who live in Rocky River are unemployed. It does not mean that the people who are employed necessarily work in Rocky River.
We ranked each city by each metric, giving equal weighting to all six metrics. Then we found each city’s average ranking and assigned a score to the city based on its average ranking. The city with the highest average ranking received a 100. The city with the lowest average ranking received a 0.
Questions about our study? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org